Are YOU coachable?

By , September 12, 2012 4:36 pm

Think about someone you know who is steeped in the fixed mindset. Think about how they’re always trying to prove themselves and how they’re supersensitive about being wrong or making mistakes. Did you ever wonder why they were this way? (Are you this way?) Now you can begin to understand why.”

~ Carol Dweck, Author – Mindset: The New Psychology of Success.


The truth is that not everyone is coachable.

Coaching can ONLY work if the partnership is a good match and both parties show up and take full responsibility for their role.

You can’t force someone to be coached (though I’ve witnessed many attempts at this in corporate when managers have tried to fix their people by trying to ‘coach’ them!).

The coachee (the person being coached) has to develop a coaching mindset to be open and tuned into learning. This involves some vulnerability.

Any coach will struggle to coach someone who doesn’t have the right mindset. The relationship feels uncomfortable for both parties. There is no connection or congruence and it’s hard work.

Here’s how to tell if you’re in the wrong mindset for being coached:

  1. You don’t want to take any responsibility for the coaching relationship.
  2. You believe that the coaching is being ‘done to you.’ It’s imposed rather than a relationship that you’ve freely entered into.
  3. You don’t allow yourself time to reflect on your own behavior or outcomes. You just turn up and hope for the best.
  4. You have no desire to change.
  5. You have no intention of doing the work and use being ‘too busy’ as an excuse.
  6. You don’t own your part of the coaching process.
  7. You expect the answers from your coach, but you don’t want to go there too deeply yourself.
  8. You’re secretly worried that your coach will judge you and compare you to other clients.
  9. You are in awe of your coach and just want to please him/her. This contorts and twists you away from what you really need to learn.

From my experience, I believe that your own view of yourself has a profound effect on the way you lead your life. It influences whether you become the person that you want to be and affects your outcomes of what you are able to accomplish.

It’s all in your mind!

You can change your mind…because mindsets are just beliefs

It’s your choice!

Here’s how to develop a coaching mindset:

1.     I have a desire to learn – Scientists have proved that human beings have more capacity for life long learning than ever thought. You stop learning, you stop growing and you stop living. YOU are your greatest experiment! Be a lifelong student of YOU. Learning keeps you fully alive…You are a work in progress. Keep growing to keep going!

2.     I’m prepared to look in the mirror – You’re naturally curious and actively seek opportunity to ask: “What is it like being on the receiving end of me?” You believe that you can develop and grow. You’re open to accurate information through feedback and conversations about your current ability and behavior even if it’s unflattering or uncomfortable. You positively see this as your raw materials for growth.

3.     My potential is unlimited – You understand that your ability is not fixed and it can be developed through learning. You are prepared to invest in your own growth. You are always looking for opportunities to stretch your knowledge and experience. You thrive when you are stretching outside of your comfort zone and developing new skills. You know this may take time – it’s all about making progress.

4.     I’m open to change – You see yourself as imperfectly perfect and accept this openly. You know that change isn’t always easy. It takes determination and persistence. Achieving your goal can involve some hard work. You have to show up when you don’t feel like it. Your effort ignites your growth and increases your ability. You embrace change.

5.     I take responsibility – You are prepared to dive in with passion even if you don’t feel confident. You take responsibility for setting your mind for success. Achievement comes from your continued commitment and self-motivation. You are aware that you’re responsible for your thoughts and reframe negative thoughts knowing that they are not the truth. You take responsibility for setbacks and see them as portals for growth.

Change can be tough but from my experience it’s always worth it – It’s life enhancing.

I have a richer and more authentic life because I continue to develop a coaching mindset. I’m not as critical of myself and I’m more alive, open and courageous because of it.

Do you have the right mindset to be coached?

2 Responses to “Are YOU coachable?”

  1. This is great Elaine…may I use your list with my clients? I think it would be a great thing to include when just starting out…

  2. ElaineBailey says:

    Karen – Glad you like this and thanks for sharing – Sure just reference it to me as the author and include my URL to this article.

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